Sunday, November 13, 2011

Gel Nail Polish ... An old mani - but, a review.

In addition to loving to try various nail polishes and painting techniques, I also enjoy occasionally doing gel nails (either with the addition of nail extensions or not).  I have found that I can get a better result in the comfort of my own home, than I got MANY times at the salon.  And, the wear is just as good, too.

I've tried both the gel products from Harmony - Gelish and the new line carried at Ulta - Red Carpet Nails.  Hands down, I prefer the Gelish polish.  It goes on more smoothly, lasts better and just looks better!

When I do a french manicure, I will typically add white tips prior to doing the gel (just looks much more 'clean' than anything I could paint on (or stamp on, I've tried doing the french stamps from Konad - I kinda stink at getting it lined up correctly)).

While you could certainly use just the foundation (base coat) and the top it off (clear top coat and final step), I like to use a middle layer of the Gelish Sheer Pink (as shown in photo above).  There isn't a lot of color to it - but, I think that there is enough of a nice 'natural' pink to it, that it is worth it.

I started out doing my gel nails / gel polish with a cheap UV lamp - but, given how much I was using it, I decided to upgrade.  The lamp that I use now, while not a top of the line / salon grade lamp, works great.  This is the one that I purchased from Sally Beauty Supply

If you're going to try your hand at doing a gel polish, I think that it is well worth it to spend a little bit more and get the better lamp.  A big plus (over the smaller ones marketed for at home use) is that you can cure all fingers (including thumb) at same time.  With the small ones, you have to do just 4 fingers at a time, and then thumbs separately.  This may not be a huge deal - but, I find that I REALLY appreciate being able to cure all nails on one hand at a time.

I also do the gel polish quite a bit for my little girls - who are VERY rough with their manicures - as it is the only way for them to have a 'lasting' manicure.  Even if I just polish their nails with regular polish, I will often top it off with the Gelish top coat for durability.  As long as the regular nail polish is completely dry, it works great!

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